Virgin Mobile postpones data throttling until 2012

Virgin Mobile has decided to postpone its original plans to throttle smartphone data speeds for its heaviest data users. Back in July, the carrier revealed that data throttling would begin in October, but today it announced that those plans will be delayed until 2012. But the company did not give any specific dates as to when it will implement the new policy.

"We have decided to delay the reduction of data speeds until 2012 to ensure we have all of the necessary systems in place so that our customer experience will remain positive," said Virgin Mobile spokeswoman Beth Evegan. "We will provide further information on timing beforehand so our customers have advance notification."

The original plan was to throttle the data speeds of those users that surpass 2.5GB of data per month. This threshold would amount to about 3 percent of its customers and would only affect the current billing cycle, with speeds reverted back to normal for the next billing cycle until usage surpasses the limit again.

Rival carriers Verizon and AT&T have recently implemented data throttling polices. Verizon's most recent "network optimization" initiative took effect earlier this month and targets the top 5 percent of its heaviest 3G data users, but the throttling occurs for the remainder of the billing cycle plus one extra billing cycle thereafter. AT&T announced a similar throttling policy back in July that will begin in the first week of October.

[via FierceWireless]